Full Speed Ahead – Lasagna Has Taken A Turn Down the Fun Lane! Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna Recipe
Everyone loves lasagna. It’s a fact. I imagine most of us remember being served lasagna throughout the course of our childhood and still enjoy it today at family meals or dinner parties. Let’s face it, it’s a great dish to serve large groups of people or when you want to have a meal that provides days of delicious leftovers.
In addition to being a tasty and filling dish, you can also get quite creative with the type of fillings you cook it with, ranging from fresh veggies to hearty meats and cheeses. There has been a recipe I’d been wanting to try for a while from Robin Asbell’s, Big Vegan, and when my friend Owen said he was planning a dinner party, I was excited to have an excuse to test out this Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna dish as my contribution.
Instead of using a ricotta cheese, this recipe utilized tofu pureed with a variety of other ingredients to get that savory punch with just the right texture. Probably one of the key differences between using a ricotta cheese and this tofu based filling is that the latter is packed with protein, iron and vitamins K, C and A. Requiring a pound of steamed spinach along with artichoke hearts and veggies in the sauce, your body will be thanking you for providing it with a nourishing meal….and your taste buds will be smiling too.
Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna
18oz firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 lb fresh spinach, steamed
14 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 medium carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp agave syrup or other sweetener
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt
8 no-boil dried lasagna noodles
1 cup broccoli florets
2 Tbsp sliced/flaked almonds or pine nuts
Before going into the directions, I want to quickly touch on the ‘drained and pressed tofu’ piece. To make super firm tofu that has little liquids in it, you’ll want to buy a super firm tofu at the store and then drain it, wrap it in a dish towel or cheese cloth, put is on a plate and place a cutting board on top of it for a bit until you see a lot of the water has moved onto the plate or adsorbed in the towel. If you do this the night before, you only need to wrap the tofu and place it in the fridge. It’ll be ready in the morning.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2. To make the filling: In a food processor, process the tofu until smooth. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, yeast, miso, oil and salt and process until smooth. Reserve. Remember to steam all the spinach before adding to the food processor.
3. To make the sauce: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrot and saute’, reducing the heat to medium-low when the vegetables start to sizzle. Cook until the onions are soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute’ for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, agave syrup, oregano, fennel, and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.
4. Oil a 9″ square baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the pan and lay two lasagna noodles on top. It’s ok if they’re not touching, because they expand in the oven. Scoop up a heaping 1 cup of the tofu mixture and dollop it over the noodles, then spread it evenly and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the broccoli. Drizzle 1/4 cup sauce over it all. Repeat with the noodles, filling, broccoli, and sauce, pressing down each layer to make it even. On the last layer, layer two noodles, 1 cup tofu mixture, and the remaining 1/3 cup of the broccoli. Don’t top the tofu mixture with sauce, but put on the last two lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining sauce across the top, making sure all the pasta is covered. Finish by sprinkling the almonds on top.
5. Bake until the lasagna bubbles all around the edges of the pan and the nuts are browned, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving, if you can wait! This makes a great leftover. To reheat, cover and bake in an over at 357 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
I found that I had leftover tofu mixture which I utilized the next day by making another lasagna. You can probably use it all to make this dish even thicker, but the way the measurements worked out for me, I was able to make two lasagnas.
Enjoy! …and let me know if you have any questions. I’m going to write another recipe on a veggie sauce that I used in the second lasagna that was bomber. Stay tuned!